Actor Michael Douglas has thrown his hat into the discursive ring, opining that perhaps the perceived lack of American men in “American” film roles is a matter (not of perception, but rather) of a diminished masculinity stateside. I’ll let Professor Douglas take it from here.
A star study of Jake Gyllenhaal, in brief, from Grantland’s Mark Harris.
The New Yorker’s Richard Brody tackles Terrence Rafferty’s lament regarding the purported decline in American acting. Brody’s critique is largely correct here, that, in effect, hoping for another Marlon Brando not only oversimplifies the contexts that produced the performer (and crucially, I would add, work to frame industrial and popular reception of performance) but also does a disservice to less visible, but no less viable, American performers working today.
Recently there’s been a rash of articles lamenting the absence of “quality” (meaning here critically embraced and/or commercially viable) American actors and a seemingly dominant presence of UK performers on American screens. I’ll have more to say about this latest series in a while. For now, though, check out the latest of these pieces, from The Guardian.
Karina Longworth’s new book promises to provide a unique perspective on Hollywood through the lens of the contact sheet. Here’s the blurb from Amazon: There is a voyeuristic thrill in contact sheets, the direct prints used by photographers of the pre-digital age to edit their work. You look directly through the photographer’s eyes as each photo gets closer to that perfect shot. And yet, it’s often the photos not chosen that best capture the true spirit of their subjects and the life they lead after the director yells cut. This was never truer than in the classic Hollywood era, where behind-the-scenes photos were carefully vetted for marketing purposes and unapproved shots were never expected to be seen again. Hollywood Frame by Frame presents hundreds of never-before-published photos from the sets of some of the greatest films of the twentieth century. Hollywood’s biggest stars are caught with their guard down behind the scenes of movie classics from Some Like It Hot and Breakfast at Tiffany’s to Taxi Driver and The Silence of the Lambs. A treasure trove for any fan of Hollywood’s Golden Age, this rare glimpse of the unseen silver screen will intrigue even movie buffs who think they’ve seen everything. Vulture provides a few images from the collection here: http://www.vulture.com/2014/09/vintage-contact-sheets-james-dean-robert-de-niro.html?mid=facebook_nymag